Barbados now has the golden opportunity to qualify for a FIFA World Cup.
Following Concacaf’s announcement of the updated men’s international calendar earlier today, all 35 FIFA Member Associations have the chance to qualify for the region’s qualification spots in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
The top five highest ranking teams, Mexico, USA, Costa Rica, Jamaica and Honduras have already qualified for the Final Round.
Meanwhile, the remaining 30 national teams will be drawn into six groups of five in a seeded draw.
The six highest-ranked teams, El Salvador, Canada, Curacao, Panama, Haiti and Trinidad and Tobago will top these groups A to F respectively.
Based on the FIFA rankings published on July 16, 2020, Barbados is currently ranked 19th in the Concacaf standings with 1009 points.
Each team will play every other team in their group once for a total of four matches; two home and two away.
These games are scheduled to be played in the FIFA match windows of October and November 2020.
At the end of the First Round, the six group winners will advance to the Second Round.
The Second Round (six teams) will be played between the group winners from the First Round, with the matchups pre-determined as follows:
Group A winner vs Group F winner
Group B winner vs Group E winner
Group C winner vs Group D winner
The teams will play home and away in a direct elimination format during the FIFA match window of March 2021, where the three winners will go forward to the Final Round.
The Final Round (eight teams) of the Concacaf Qualifiers, for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, will see the three winners from the Second Round join the Concacaf Member Associations ranked one through five based on the FIFA rankings as of July 16th, 2020.
The national teams ranked one to five will have already gained enough FIFA ranking points to guarantee their place in the Final Round prior to the development of a new format.
Final Round teams: 1. Mexico 2. USA 3. Costa Rica 4. Jamaica 5. Honduras 6. Second Round Winner 7. Second Round Winner 8. Second Round Winner.
The eight teams will play each other home and away, with each team playing 14 matches.
The Final Round is set to begin in the double FIFA match window in June 2021 and continue in the FIFA match windows of September, October, November 2021 and January and March 2022.
At the end of the Final Round, the top three finishing teams will qualify directly to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. The fourth-placed team will qualify for the FIFA Intercontinental Playoff, scheduled to be played in June 2022.
The draw for all rounds of the Concacaf Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will take place in mid-August 2020 with full details to follow in the coming days.